Snowballs vs. Farmers

Few WoW players like the professional gold and item farmers in the game. The rise of the underground economy for selling gold and rare items outside the Auction House has lead to farmers--most of whom hail from Asia and don't speak English well--repeatedly spamming the general chat channel with WTS messages.

Some players have resorted to using snowballs, which were added last week as part of WoW's holiday content, as a way to manage an annoying gold farmer/spammer. Witnesses have seen one spammer get pelted with hundreds of snowballs in Ironforge, enough to cause her to flee the city.

This is a great example of the community finding a solution to a problem instead of relying on a technical solution. Technical solutions can usually be overcome easily by the system exploiters (gold farmers), but solutions like this not so much. The truth of the problem is that it's as simple as Economics 101. As long as there are people willing to buy illicit gold instead of earning it, there will be people willing to farm the gold to sell to them...where there are buyers, there will be sellers. Until Blizzard can figure out a way (if they can figure out a way) to effectively block goldfarming and selling, I think I'll enjoy the snowballs while we have them.

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.